The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (iom3) is playing host to a number of events throughout London Design Week through the Materials and Design Exchange (MaDE) which was set up to facilitate the development of design skills to exploit the benefits of new materials and processes. On Wednesday morning, a number of speakers were invited to talk about new advances in lighting, including Chris Williams from UK Displays & Lighting and Ceravision. Chris was keen on getting across the message about ineffective lighting. It’s now clear that the Incandescent bulb’s future is hanging in the balance, but he also explained the problems with other lighting. A 100W tungsten incandescent bulb dissipates around 93% of the electricity used through heat and a 50W Halogen bulb loses 45W through heat. These are big heat losses by very common products.
Whilst compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are rated as the next best thing to existing incandescent bulbs, they too have their problems. Many don’t last the listed lifetime, stopping short at less than ½ of the estimated hours. Domestic users still don’t have the option to buy quality CFLs and they also carry 10X the safe limit of mercury, bringing about issues surrounding the disposal of such a product.
So, what is available for the future? Well, Chris suggested a number of alternatives including Inorganic LED, Organic LED, and a new Microwave Elecrodeless Lamp System. An example of one of these new lamp systems is the Ceravision Continuum™2.4 lamp. It contains no mercury, has a simple bulb chemistry, solid state power source, simple manufacturing, lifetime improvements, high efficiency and ultimately at a low cost. The Economist looks into the inner workings of the light with a little more detail.
With an efficiency above 50%, no toxic materials to dispose of and without the use of a filament, this new lamp system could help to reduce the estimated 650 TWh of electricity used globally on artificial lighting.